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Semester Meal Programs

Everybody likes to eat… and what better way to engage local culture than food?

We’re sure you’ve already thought about this, but eating abroad is an essential way to engage and understand your new host country (or countries). While you’re abroad, we expect you to try new foods, early and often, some of which will fall outside your “culinary comfort zone.” How might you do this? Ultimately, it’s your call. You might want to start gradually by tasting a staple you’re familiar with that’s prepared differently in your new country. Over time, you may become so adventurous that your new “faves” include escargot, boxty or cinghiale! (Don’t know them? Start your culinary exploration today by looking them up.) Some important notes:

Our semester meal program won’t mirror a traditional “meal plan” on campus. It’s intended to be the starting point for your exploration of food rather than a comprehensive solution for all your meals. After all, study abroad is about exploration!

We’ve designed the program to give you roughly 4 breakfasts + 4 other meals per week, on average. How we do that varies by city—something we hope you enjoy! We also know that many students travel on extended weekends, so we limit the meal program to ensure you’re not paying for food you won’t be able to eat.

The food—and the times when you eat it—will be different. The goal is to give you a taste of the local, and to make you comfortable getting out into the city on your own.

Each city is different. In some, we provide more of a “meal allowance” to get you into the city from your first moments; in others, we actually have a cafeteria on campus. Click the city info below for more details.

Let us know if you have dietary restrictions. We can’t promise that a gluten-intolerant vegan who hates vegetables will have an easy time in Italy, but we’ll do our best to help. So let us know in your health form, and once you arrive on site.

Each week, students participating in the Discover France and Discover the World programs will receive breakfast and dinner in the SJU Paris dining hall Monday through Thursday.

Continental Breakfast
Served Monday through Thursday

  • Cereal
  • Baguette
  • Jam/Butter
  • Fresh fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Milk
  • Juice

French-Style Dinner Served
Monday through Thursday

  • Fresh Baguette
  • 1 Appetizer (green salad, tomato salad, lentil salad, etc.)
  • 1 Protein (chicken, steak, eggs, pork, fish, etc.)
  • 1 Starch (pasta, rice, potatoes, couscous, etc.)
  • 1 Cooked Vegetable (green beans, broccoli, endives, etc.)
  • 1 Dairy (cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • 1 Dessert (whole fruit, pastry, cake, pudding, etc.)

Many students find that a cost-effective and culturally immersive option for lunch is the “CROUS”, a local cafeteria where Paris university students eat at subsidized, low prices (more info on the CROUS, in French, available here). If you’re social, you’ll get a sense of French student life and make friends, so we’ll encourage you to purchase a rechargeable card and head back often during your time in Paris.

Each week, students participating in the Discover the World programs will breakfast and lunch from Monday to Thursday. Breakfast will be served at the Pery's Hotel and lunch tickets will be provided for a hot lunch at the Mary Immaculate College campus.

Full breakfast:
Served Monday through Thursday

  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Sausage
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Juice

Lunch on campus:
Served Monday through Thursday

Each week, students participating in the Discover Italy and the Discover the World programs will receive 25 meal vouchers worth €2 each. Every other week students are invited to join us on campus for either a culinary “course” (with food tasting, of course!) or pizza.

Our meal vouchers are part of the network called “Ticket Restaurant,” and can be used throughout Rome—and other major Italian cities—at restaurants, pizzerias, cafes and supermarkets. So use them across the street from campus—or across the country! If you choose to buy groceries, you’ll be able to use one of our two full kitchens to prepare meals. Just keep in mind that they’re a shared resource!

Students are expected to budget their weekly meal tickets responsibly (NB: they can feed you for most of a week, or you can spend them on a single, fancy meal if you’re not careful), but you’re free to spend them at your discretion. Indeed, you can use these vouchers one by one, in multiples, or all together.